"We had a couple of above-average reports on him as it relates to projection," Rockies director of professional scouting Jon Weil told MLB.com. "He pitches at 96-98 [mph], a big strong right-hander, good slider, attacks the zone very aggressively. He has a big, strong durable build [listed at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds]. We felt with the power he brings, he could bring a nice complement to compete for our bullpen."
"He's a power reliever, a two-pitch power guy," Phillies scouting director Mike Ondo told MLB.com. "A big fastball with a hard slider. He's a guy that can create some depth in our bullpen. Get him in the mix. In the past, he's been capable of giving you a two-inning outing. He's also a guy that can come in with that stuff and get a strikeout."
"Any time you take a guy in Rule 5, you are rushing his development a little bit, so it's a longer shot of it working out," general manager Rick Hahn told MLB.com. "But this kid made some real nice strides in 2013 in terms of development. We figure bring him in and give him the shot and have some competition. It doesn't mean by any means we are done in terms of our search for potential upgrades. This is another avenue to try to bring in some talent."
Nieto hit .285 with 11 homers and an .821 OPS in 390 at-bats at Class A Potomac last season.
"I have a little history with him," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes told MLB.com. "We drafted him with Arizona. He's progressed through professional ball. The last two years he's been a reliever and we had a really good report on him this summer from the Cal League. He's gotten some lefties out and actually has pitches for right-handed hitters and also keeps the ball on the ground. He was worth a shot in the Rule 5."
Justin Smoak looked like he was having a breakout season in 2013, hitting .273 with an .821 OPS as late as Aug. 16, but he hit just .152 with a .562 OPS the rest of the way. After another failed attempt to secure the starting catcher job, Montero was sent to the minors to learn first base before getting hit with a 50-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic. He also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The Blue Jays, Orioles and Diamondbacks have also been linked to the 28-year-old right-hander this offseason. Samardzija went 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings in a career-high 213 2/3 innings last year.
ESPN reports that the
The right-hander used to be one of the top setup men in the game but has struggled with injuries and inconsistency over the last few years. He had a 4.93 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and 8.1 stirkeouts per nine innings in 45 appearances for the Yankees last season.
Weeks is presumed to be expendable with the emergence of Scooter Gennett last year, but the Marlins have already signed Rafael Furcal to serve as their second baseman in 2014.
According to FOXSports.com, the
Choo is seeking a seven-year deal and reportedly already has one on the table, though the team is unknown.
According to FOXSports.com, the
Balfour recorded 38 saves as the Athletics closer last season, posting a 2.59 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 65 appearances.